Climate Change: The Keywords

In the not too distant future, it will likely be difficult to understand how so many educated people believed in and accepted uncritically for so long a scientifically unproven theory like the so-called Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

Taken almost as a dogma, the AGW has been forcefully imposed by means of a barrage of scare stories and indoctrination that begins in the elementary school textbooks and is volleyed relentlessly upon us by the media and many scientific institutions (including some pseudo-scientific ones), while gullible or opportunistic politicians devise all possible means of inserting climate-motivated items into their power-seeking schemes.

The threat allegedly posed by that supposed world emergency would justify the need of at least halving the human carbon emissions until mid-century, meaning a draconian reduction of the use of fossil fuels worldwide. Despite the drastic potential impact of such measures upon the living standards of all nations, the failure to do so and of establishing a “low-carbon economy,” we are told, would usher the environmental apocalypse in. Well, fortunately for Mankind it won’t.

However, that avalanche has gone too far. So, it’s high time to turn the alarmist page and discard the buzzwords with which the subject has been marketed once and for all: (undeserved) hype, (unmotivated) scare, (unnecessary) restrictions and (unacceptable) sacrifices. In their stead new keywords are needed to put the climatic phenomena into their proper perspective again: proportion, knowledge and resilience.

 

The first keyword: proportion

Let’s begin with trying to give the climate theme the right proportion concerning its nature and relationship with Mankind.

The environmentalist propaganda machine has ascribed an intrinsically negative and threatening connotation to the expression climate change, as if the climatic oscillations of the last century and a half were something unprecedented and implying that it should be combated at any cost – even if this would hamper the development perspectives of most of the developing countries (and as if Mankind had the necessary knowledge and means to do so). Notwithstanding, changing is the natural condition of the Earth’s climate – in the historical and geological time scales there has never been and there will never be such a thing as a “static” climate (so, climate change is sort of a pleonasm). As a rule of thumb, during 90% of the Phanerozoic eon (the latest 570 million years) the Earth has experienced temperatures higher than the current ones, and 90% of the Quaternary period (the latest 2.6 million years) have elapsed under glacial conditions and temperatures much lower than the current ones.

The Quaternary has also witnessed the most frequent and rapid climatic oscillations in the Earth’s geological history, alternating between cool glacial and warm interglacial periods in 41,000- and 100,000-year cycles. In the last 800,000 years the longer cycles have prevailed and the Earth experienced eight Ice Ages approximately 90,000-year long separated by eight interglacial periods averaging 10,000-11,000 years (although there are controversies about their length).

During the Ice Ages the average temperatures were 8-10°C lower than the current ones, the sea levels were 120-130 m lower and much of the Northern Hemisphere was covered by an ice pack up to 4 km thick, down to the 40°N parallel (the latitude of nowadays New York). During the interglacials the average temperatures reached 4-6°C and the sea levels 3-6 m above the current ones. Our own interglacial the Holocene, which started 11,500-11,700 years ago, had average temperatures up to 4°C and sea levels up to 3 m above the current ones between 5,000-6,000 years ago (Middle Holocene).

The transition periods between the warming and cooling phases and vice versa, when the average temperatures rose or fell the 6-8°C that make the difference between an interglacial and an Ice Age, have lasted from a few centuries to a few decades. [1]

The genus Homo appeared on Earth soon after the onset of the Quaternary. Our species the Homo sapiens sapiens emerged during the penultimate Ice Age, somewhere between 150,000-200,000 years ago. And our problem-solver, city-builder, technological, scientific, industrial and artistic Civilization has been existing entirely in the Holocene and its warmer temperatures that allowed the advent of agriculture.

Some useful tips emerge from such facts:

* The wild oscillations of the Quaternary are the general climatic condition faced by Humankind ever. We have been coping with them quite successfully and nothing suggests that we cannot continue to do so (as long as common sense and non-partisan science prevail).

* They outline a background “noise” that by far overshadows the tiny rise of the temperature and sea levels (and their gradients) that have occurred since the late 19th century – respectively 0.8°C and 0.2 m, according to the IPCC. [2] This simply means that there is no scientific way to attribute causes other than natural to these, because the background “noise” has yielded much wider and faster oscillations of the temperatures and sea levels occurring before the Industrial Revolution.

* The Quaternary climate dynamics seems to be “self-adjusted” to the boundary conditions outlined by the Ice Ages and interglacials. So, the suggested risk of a “runaway warming” or some kind of climate disruption from the human carbon emissions is far-fetched, specially regarding the much ballyhooed “magic number” of 2°C warming that supposedly could not be exceeded (a political contrivance admitted by its own author, the German physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber in an interview to the Spiegel Online website). [3] During the interglacials there were higher temperatures without any kind of “runaway” disturbance.

 

Real global emergencies

As to the real global emergencies requiring urgent actions on new levels of international attention, cooperation, coordination and funding, there is no shortage of them. For those seriously interested in this business, here are some that do not exist only in supercomputer-run mathematical models and that would benefit very much from fractions of the colossal amounts of money – and human resources – that have been wasted with the non-existent AGW:

* The world’s most serious environmental troubles, particularly in the developing countries, are those related to the lack of water and sanitation infrastructure, like water pollution and the water-borne diseases that kill a child every 15 seconds in the developing countries, according to the World Health Organization. [4] A 2007 poll conducted by the British Medical Journal among physicians all over the world elected fresh water and sanitation infrastructure as the greatest medical advance of the last 150 years – a “privilege” still unavailable for over 40% of the world’s population. [5] In Brazil, less than half of the population have access to sewage systems and two thirds of the child internments in the public health system are due to water-borne diseases. [6] (I’ve never seen Al Gore, Hollywood stars or the major environmental NGOs campaigning for sanitation.)

* Hunger and its consequences kill a child every six seconds, according to the FAO. [7] Almost one billion people all over the world suffer from chronic hunger, a scenario that will surely worsen due to the current speculation-driven price rise affecting some basic staples. [8] Besides the immoral waste of productive lives, the annual economic cost of such a tragedy in productivity, revenue, investment and consumption losses is estimated in the order of hundreds of billion dollars. [9]

* The lack of access by much of the world’s population to modern energy sources. Dung and firewood, the most primitive fuels known to Mankind, are still the basic resources for the daily needs of most of the Sub-Saharan Africans (besides being major sources of deforestation and respiratory diseases). Although with lower figures, the same happens in much of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. And, as over 80% of the world’s primary energy needs are provided by coal, oil and natural gas, it’s not difficult to ascertain the potential consequences of the intended restriction of their uses, as proposed by many scientists, environmentalists, politicians, carbon traders and all the people terrified by the AGW scare stories. Besides that, thermoelectric plants generate about two thirds of the world’s electricity, the rest being almost totally provided by hydroelectric and nuclear plants (also increasingly targeted by the environmentalists). [10]

The list of real troubles is much longer, but these few examples suffice to demonstrate the distortions of the agenda of global discussions, both among the policymakers and the public opinion in general (which, in the case of the climate issues, also reflect a widespread deficiency of scientific education among the educated strata of the societies).

In any case, make no mistake. Barring an unforeseen technological breakthrough, there won’t be large scale replacements for the fossil fuels until late this century at least. Massive national and international investments in efficient and integrated multi-modal and urban transportation systems may and should help to reduce the use of automobiles and trucks, particularly in the overcrowded big cities. For power generation, there are the options of harnessing the hydroelectric potential still available, the expansion of nuclear energy and the interlinking of continental and even inter-continental power grids in order to enhance both the energy efficiency and security for all countries involved (forget the current “alternative sources” for large scale uses, they are not technologically and economically feasible for energizing urban and industrial societies). However – and hence –, coal, oil and natural gas will continue to be sources of development and progress for a long time yet – and it is unacceptable that its growing use be hindered by an imaginary threat.

 

The second keyword: knowledge

The second keyword for the long overdue reassessment of the climatic issues is knowledge, meaning a more comprehensive and better understanding of the climate dynamics.

However, as a prerequisite it is necessary to clear up a concept commonly misused and abused by the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) defenders: the idea that “science is settled” and that the so-called “scientific consensus” on the subject would be objected to only by some handfuls of diehard “skeptics.”

For starters, there is no such a thing like “settled science,” neither in Climatology nor in any other branch of science. The body of scientific knowledge is an open-ended and permanently ongoing construction that is always open to new evidences, new hypotheses, debate, questioning and revision – that’s how real science advances.

Also, “consensus” is a concept alien to science, which is not a “democratic” activity whose advance is driven by the weight of the number of followers of a certain line of thinking or theory – but by a permanent process of convergence between new hypotheses and evidences collected in the physical world.

Perhaps the best symbol of the meaninglessness of such numbers in science was Albert Einstein’s anthological response to the 1931 pamphlet “100 authors against Einstein,” which was commissioned by the German Nazi Party as a clumsy contradiction to the Relativity Theory, that did not fit the canons of the “Arian science.” He said then: “If I were wrong, then one would have been enough.” [11]

The same distortion has affected the concept of skepticism, which was granted a pejorative connotation in order to label the critics of the AGW – as if a permanent and healthy skepticism were not an indispensable requisite for any scientist worth of his or her salt. As the US National Academy of Sciences felt compelled to remind in a 1995 booklet:

“The fallibility of methods is a valuable reminder of the importance of skepticism in science. Scientific knowledge and scientific methods, whether old or new, must be continually scrutinized for possible errors… Organized and searching skepticism as well as an openness to new ideas are essential to guard against the intrusion of dogma or collective bias into scientific results.” [12]

It is indeed regrettable that this sober advice has been deliberately overlooked by a good deal of the scientific community involved in the climate research and related themes (beginning with the Academy itself). Perhaps, in many cases this attitude has been motivated by the lure of the incentives offered by the AGW machine – plentiful research grants, mediatic exposition, prestige, the professional pride of making part of a branch of science elevated to stardom, business consulting opportunities and many others.

On the other hand, besides the hundreds of billion dollars that have been wasted with the attempt of imposing a theory that is not supported by the physical world evidences, the “warmist” thrust is harming science in quite dangerous ways. First, it is pushing science aside from the perspective of providing a reasoned and relatively well informed assessment of the climate dynamics that may provide an useful guidance for long-term strategies and public policies – absolutely necessary due to the climate’s enormous importance in the human affairs. Second, it is distorting the public perception of science in such a way that the non-partisan climate scientists will likely have a hard time trying to regain the public trust after the seemingly unavoidable wear and tear of the alarmist outlook.

History offers a gloomy precedent of such poisoning of science by ideology and special interests: the infamous Lysenko affair in the former Soviet Union, the ruthless opposition to genetics headed by Trofim D. Lysenko and his cohorts between the 1930s and 1960s. In addition to the physical elimination of stubborn scientists who resisted the “consensual official line” (the “skeptics” of the time), the price of such an irrationality pandemics was enormous, costing the Soviet biological and agricultural sciences a half a century hold-up whose consequences are felt still today.

The AGW scare and its political agenda of restricting the use of fossil fuels are serious candidates to the condition of post-modern equivalents of “Lysenkoism.” [13]

As for the IPCC, it has been a political contrivance from the beginning, dedicated to the task of proving “the risk of human-induced climate change.” [14] So, its methodological procedures are suited to its political agenda of “justifying the greenhouse gases emission control, specially carbon dioxide,” as it was aptly described by S. Fred Singer, one of the deans of the atmospheric sciences still on duty. [15]

In fact, they are limited to a compilation and review of scientific (and others not so much) climate-related works published in between the issuing of its assessment reports (four so far). While this method may be useful to provide some overview of the state of the art of the climatic research, it cannot be relied upon for providing a more realistic and functional understanding of the climate dynamics.

With the obsessive fixation on carbon dioxide, the AGW thrust inoculated the climate science with the “reductionism virus,” the epistemological concept according to which complex phenomena can be understood by means of the sum of the understanding of their constituent parts, as with the solving of a puzzle game or the assemblage of a complex machine. However, if such an approach is useful for technological and engineering uses or even for some more simple phenomena, it is completely unsuitable in the case of complex, non-linear and chaotic systems like climate.

For this reason, the Apollo Program, the greatest technological accomplishment of the 20th century, could be achieved by NASA with a total computing capacity inferior to a modern cell phone’s – simply because all the scientific and technological requisites for that great enterprise were based on known physical and chemical laws and properties. In contrast, all the world’s computers now existing linked together could not provide a precise simulation of the climate dynamics – because the programmers would lack the proper knowledge of its functioning as a system and of all the interacting factors that influence it.

The present supercomputer-run Global Climate Models (GCMs) so dear to the AGW defenders are quintessential reductionist instruments. In a simplified way, a typical GCM divides the atmosphere in grid “boxes” of hundreds or thousands of square kilometers and some kilometers high, and tries to ascertain and quantify the energy flows and their influences on the climatic parameters in and between the “boxes.” As every “box” comprises several degrees of latitude and longitude and a multiplicity of physical and biological environments (kind of surface, relief, vegetation etc.), one can imagine the complexity of the process – that cannot provide but a very crude approximation of the physical world. Besides, as many factors that influence such flows are poorly known or even unknown, they are usually “adjusted,” “fixed,” (“parametrized” in the jargon) or simply ignored by the modelers. So, no wonder the discrepancies between the models and the real world observations are generally considerable. [16]

For this reason, it is hard to see how a comprehensive understanding of the climate dynamics could be obtained by putting “atmospheric boxes” together like the pieces of a global scale puzzle – a practice whose uses should be restricted to academic drills.

For that task an “holistic” approach is needed, one that regards the climate as an integral system in itself and study its evolution along the Earth’s geological history thoroughly, taking into account all the astrophysical, atmospheric, oceanic, geological, geomorphologic and biological factors that influence it and their multiple and complex interactions, many of them – it’s worth repeating – are still poorly known.

The model of epistemological approach and international scientific cooperation needed for a serious advancement of the climate science is not the IPCC, but the 1957-58 International Geophysical Year (IGY), the remarkable effort that united tens of thousands of scientists from 66 countries at the height of the Cold War in order to advance the systemic and comprehensive knowledge of the Earth dynamics and its interactions with the Sun and the Cosmos. The motivation and the mood of that great enterprise, as well as the “holistic” kind of approach chosen for its research programs, can be seen in the following passage of one of the many contemporary popular books written to present the IGY to the general public:

“(…) The whole Earth and the ‘laboratory’ of the Solar System are necessary for a comprehensive study of the weather, the air, the oceans and the ice of the Earth; the upper atmosphere or ionosphere; the solid earth; the energy that comes at the Earth from space, and the Sun, the main source of energy. These phenomena are too closely interrelated to be studied separately… All of the great phenomena of the dynamic Earth are being studied at one time, ‘synoptically,’ and the millions of facts being gathered will be compared. The IGY is the largest fact-finding enterprise ever undertaken. It is seeking answers to some of the most important questions that man has ever asked.” [17]

The IGY still stands as Mankind’s greatest collective scientific enterprise ever. The spirit of global cooperation, the epistemological approach, the methodologies, standards and procedures developed for its coordinated and joint researches, the huge mass of gathered data, the quality of the obtained results and the optimistic visions of science and its role for the progress it helped to instill among the general public were enormous contributions for the advancement of science and brought forth a great deal of benefits for all Mankind – a feat diametrically opposed to the disservice done by the IPCC.

One can only regret that the 50th anniversary of that great endeavor has gone almost unnoticed by the global media and academia.

Perhaps if the development of the “holistic” approach to the geophysical phenomena that inspired the IGY had not been interrupted by the “warmist” tsunami, climate science could be now much more advanced towards the epistemological “quantum leap” needed for the systemic understanding of the Earth’s climate.

In any case, the revival of that pioneering and gripping spirit (and the corresponding dumping of the “warmism”) is a necessity if we really intend to be serious about the climate.

 

The third keyword: resilience

The word resilience can be described as the capacity of elasticity and recovery from physical shocks. This is a property that Mankind has always demonstrated to possess while facing all kinds of threats to its evolution, and this is also the third and most important keyword for the needed reassessment of the climate debate.

Despite some transitory interruptions in the civilizational process and a lot of setbacks and tragedies of all dimensions, the intrinsically creative, associative and synergetic nature of our species have granted Mankind the evolving capacity (in terms of knowledge and socio-political-economic relations) and the resilience needed for overcoming all sorts of challenges so far: adverse climatic conditions, food scarcity, epidemic and pandemic diseases, natural hazards, conflicts of all kinds, bad rulers, short-sighted leaders, and with unfortunate frequency, irrationality pandemics fed by exotic ideas disconnected from any coherent process of understanding of the universal laws – like environmentalism and its standard bearer the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory.

It is worth reminding that our species appeared in the penultimate Ice Age somewhere in Africa and set out from there to conquer all the continents under much more unfavorable climatic conditions than those prevailing in the Holocene period, the last 12,000 years. It was under the harsh conditions prevailing during most of that time span that our forebears developed the “physical” and “social” technologies needed not only for their mere survival, but also for the advent of civilized life: fire, tools, sophisticated hunting weapons, the taming of animals, articulated language, capacity for group action and even profound abstract concepts like the intuition of a principle of universal order and a refined artistic sense (exemplified by the magnificent paintings in the Altamira and Lascaux caves and by the 35,000 year-old flutes made out of animal bones found in Southeastern Germany). Only agriculture had to wait for the onset of our warm interglacial the Holocene.

So, with that 150,000-plus years inheritance of accumulated knowledge, Mankind has no shortage of conditions for facing any environmental scenarios created by the natural oscillations of the climate dynamics, with all the temperature, humidity, ice cover, sea level and other changes that may be expected in a foreseeable future. The keyword is ensuring the needed resilience for such capacity – instead of sacrificing the wellbeing and progress perspectives of much of the world’s population for an irrational obsession with a tiny rising of the thermometers and tide gauges.

More than that: for the first time ever, Mankind holds the necessary and sufficient body of knowledge and technical and physical resources for providing the virtual totality of the material needs for a population even larger than the existing one, opening the possibility of universalizing – in an enduring and entirely sustainable way – the general wellbeing levels enjoyed by the most advanced countries, in terms of water, sanitation, energy, transportation and communications infrastructure, health and education services and other conquests of modern civilized life. Despite the fallacious neo-malthusian/environmentalist arguments against such perspective, the main obstacles to its fulfillment in less than two generations are political and mental, not physical or environmental.

On the other hand, it is ironic that cooling conditions have ever been much more troublesome for Mankind, specially in what regards to human health and agricultural impacts, traveling and infrastructure disruptions and many other negative effects. Thus, we are the first generation in History who are worried about the warming of the planet – a condition that has always proven to be favorable to most of the biosphere (indeed, before Climatology was converted into a “politicized science,” the warmest phases of the interglacial periods were named “climatic optima”).

In fact, there are some indications that the next two decades or so will bring a cooling trend, due to the coincidence of a cycle of weak solar activity and cool phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and other cycles of sea surface temperatures, a combination that helps to explain much of the temperature oscillation during the last century. [18, 19, 20]

It is an statistically-proven fact that the natural catastrophes (including the climatic ones) usually cause much more physical harm and human suffering in the less developed countries that are less provided with modern infrastructure, including efficient public services of all kinds. Hence, the most intelligent and efficient way of increasing Mankind’s overall resilience for facing the inexorable climate changes – warm or cool, dry or wet climates – is by means of raising its general wellbeing and progress to the levels permitted by modern science and technology, and not by their restriction or virtual “freezing” – condition that would arise from the insane “de-carbonization” of the economy advocated by the followers of the AGW cult.

Resilience means the redundance and flexibility of the societies’ physical conditions of survival and functioning, allowing them to reduce their overall vulnerability to the climate oscillations and other potentially dangerous natural phenomena. Such requisites include things like the availability of genetically modified seeds for all climatic conditions, the redundance of food sources, food storage capacity, transportation, energy and communications infrastructure, and many others.

A recent demonstration of such concept was provided by the disruption of the international air traffic by the ash clouds from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökul volcano. In that case, the flexibility that allowed Europe to cope with the troubles caused by the closing of its air space was partially provided by the continent’s dense and efficient land transportation grid.

By the way, the enormous disturbances caused by an eruption that barely reached 4 in the logarithmic Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 8 points should call into question the criteria of choice for the setting of Mankind’s collective efforts agenda. We can only think about the potential impacts of eventual mega-eruptions like the also Icelandic Laki’s in 1783 (VEI 6) or the Indonesia’s Tambora in 1815 (VEI 7), on a much more densely populated, urbanized and interdependent world, with its vulnerable transport, energy and communication grids. [21]

Obviously, phenomena like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes cannot be controlled, but a better knowledge about their causes and monitoring systems capable of detecting their forewarning signals could contribute quite a lot to mitigate their destructive impacts. In some countries there are promising researches aimed at improving this detection capacity with the help of terrestrial and space sensors. However, the scale of these initiatives is still limited and the same happens with the needed coordination of efforts at the international level (all such initiatives would also benefit from a tiny fraction of the concern and resources that have been wasted with the false emergency of the AGW).

In physical terms, Mankind’s wellbeing and resilience will depend pretty much on a meaningful increase of the per capita energy use by the less developed populations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, that will have to be multiplied by factors of 3 to 6 in order to reach at least the current levels of the former Soviet countries (about half of the OECD countries’). Such a goal cannot be reached without a large scale increase of the use of coal, oil and natural gas, which already provide over 80% of the world energy consumption and two thirds of the electricity generation [22] – and for which there won’t be large scale replacements until the second half of the century at least (the enhanced use of nuclear energy will also play an important role).

As for their physical availability, the recurring and pessimistic “Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt. The recent discoveries of ultra-deep oil deposits off the Brazilian coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, besides the promising development of the technologies for exploring the vast and widespread reserves of shale gas, suggest that the alleged limits to the hydrocarbon production expansion are not at sight yet.

By the same token, the possibility of exploring ultra-deep abiotic hydrocarbons must be considered. Although it is contested by the Western mainstream geosciences thinking, the inorganic formation of hydrocarbons is admitted by Russian and Ukrainian scientists since the mid-20th century and certain non-sedimentary oil deposits have been successfully explored in those countries for decades. [23] Such promising possibilities were reinforced by experimental evidences of hydrocarbon formation in the Earth’s upper mantle, in recent experiments performed in the US and Sweden. [24, 25]

All these developments make still more relevant and urgent the neutralization of the AGW scare for the guidance of long-term political strategies.

Granted, the dismantling of the vast array of political, scientific, economic, mediatic and other interests grouped around the AGW scare is not an easy task, but it is fundamental for the future of Civilization and its improvement. Fortunately, the inconsistencies of the “warmist” scenario, the unscientific practices of many of its champions and the physical/economic unfeasibility of the “de-carbonization” agenda are becoming increasingly evident to the general public, as well as the quarrels among developed and developing countries on who should bear the brunt of the sacrifices to implement it and who should pay the bill. Besides that, an increasing number of undeterred scientists and motivated laymen all over the world have taken into their hands the crucial task of returning the discussion about climate change to the place it should never have been stolen from: the ground of real science, common sense and the common good.

As a way of conclusion, I share with the readers the inspiring words of two great scientists who have excelled in the struggle against the AGW irrationality and, above all, in the battle for giving back real science its due place in the guidance of the human affairs.

First, let’s hear Richard Lindzen in a 2001 testimony to the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, speaking about the really important priorities concerning the climate issues:

“The question of where do we go from here is an obvious and important one. From my provincial perspective, an important priority should be given to figuring out how to support and encourage science (and basic science underlying climate in particular) while removing incentives to promote alarmism. The benefits of leaving future generations a better understanding of nature would far outweigh the benefits (if any) of ill thought out attempts to regulate nature in the absence of such understanding.” [26]

Then, let’s call on Freeman Dyson, who reminds us of human nature itself and of our universal mission, both quite forgotten in these gloomy times of cultural pessimism and inconsequent and opportunistic catastrophism:

“Boiled down to one sentence, my message is the unboundedness of life and the consequent unboundedness of human destiny. As a working hypothesis to explain the riddle of our existence, I propose that our universe is the most interesting of all possible universes, and our fate as human beings is to make it so.” [27]

 

Sources:

1. The Paleomap Project, website of University of Texas (Arlington) geologist Dr. Christopher R. Scotese, provides a good overview on the Earth’s geologic, geographic and climatic evolution over the past 1.1 billion years, with a well-written text and didactic animated maps that are useful and interesting for general readers and professional geoscientists alike (www.scotese.com). For an excellent description of the Quaternary climatic history, see the Chapter 2 of Ian Plimer’s Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science (Lanham: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2009). Spanish language readers may find particularly interesting the website of Dr. Antón Uriarte, a geographer at the Universidad del País Vasco, Paleoclimatologia: Historia del Clima y Cambios Climáticos (http://homepage.mac.com/uriarte/).

2. IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report – Summary for Policymakers.

3. Marco Evers, Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufette, “A Superstorm for Global Warming Research”, Spiegel Online, 1/04/2010,

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,686697,00.html.

4. Oliver Cumming, Tackling the silent killer: the case for sanitation. London: WaterAid, July 2008.

5. Sarah Boseley, “Sanitation rated the greatest medical advance in 150 years”, The Guardian, 1/19/2007.

6. Marcelo Cortes Neri (Coord.), Trata Brasil: Saneamento e Saúde. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Getúlio Vargas, 2007.

7. Bread for the World, “Hunger Facts: International”, http://www.bread.org/hunger/global/.

8. FAO, “Hunger”,http://www.fao.org/hunger/en/.

9. FAO/Alessandra Benedetti, “Hunger on the rise: soaring prices add 75 million people to global hunger rolls”, 9/18/2008, http://appablog.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/hunger-on-the-rise-soaring-prices-add-75-million-people-to-global-hunger-rolls/.

10. International Energy Agency statistics page.

11. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: from the Big Bang to Black Holes. Toronto: Bantam Books, 1988.

12. National Academy of Sciences, On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research. Washington: National Academy Press, 1995.

13. See the Wikipedia entries for “Trofim Lysenko” and “Lysenkoism.”

14. IPCC, “Principles governing IPCC work”, http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf.

15. S. Fred Singer (Ed.), Nature, Not Human Activity Rules the Climate. Chicago: The Heartland Institute, 2008.

16. For a general overview of the climate models see the Wikipedia entry for “Global climate model.”

17. Alexander Marshack, The World in Space: The Story of the International Geophysical Year. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1958.

18. Luiz Carlos Baldicero Molion, “Aquecimento global, El Niños, manchas solares, vulcões e Oscilação Decadal do Pacífico” (Global Warming, El Niños, Sunspots, Volcanos and Pacific Decadal Oscillation), Revista Climanálise, Ano 3, No. 1., 1-5 (2006).

19. Joseph D’Aleo, “US Temperatures and Climate Factors since 1895” (2008), http://icecap.us/images/uploads/US_Temperatures_and_Climate_Factors_since_1895.pdf.

20. Horst Borchert, “Südpazifische Oszillation und Kosmische Strahlung” (South Pacific Oscillation and Cosmic Radiation) (2010), http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/SO_Borchert.pdf.

21. See the Wikipedia entry for “Volcanic Explosivity Index.”

22. See the International Energy Agency statistics page.

23. See the session “Abiotic deep origin of hydrocarbons: Myth or reality?” of the 33rd International Geological Congress (Oslo, 2008), http://www.cprm.gov.br/33IGC/Sess_182.html.

24. Anton Kolesnikov, Vladimir G. Kutcherov and Alexander F. Goncharov, “Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions”, Nature Geoscience 2, 566-570 (2009).

25. Carnegie Institute for Science, “Hydrocarbons in deep Earth?”,27/07/2009,http://carnegiescience.edu/news/hydrocarbons_deep_earth.

26. Richard Lindzen, “Testimony of Richard S. Lindzen before the Senate Environment Public Works Committee on 2 May 2001”.

27. Freeman J. Dyson, Infinite in all Directions. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1988.

This article was originally posted in three parts in several sites dedicated to the task of debunking the global warming scare, in November 2010, among them Climate Change Dispatch, Watts Up With That?, and others.

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